Meet the JKM Library Staff: Megan Massanelli


Megan:megan 2

  • Is a fan of Pittsburgh’s hills (to look at, not climb)
  • Likes a good thrifting trip on her days off
  • Is a secret trekkie

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I’m a Reference Associate! Which means… I help you find and retrieve the right books, articles, and other media to fulfill your research needs. I can help check-out materials for you or let you know about a resource that you might not have known about before. I do a variety of things and usually know the right person to ask if I don’t know the answer myself.

What made you choose your current profession?

I’ve always fancied myself a detective, so reference work is right up my ally. I’m also trained as an archivist and have an affinity for primary resources and preservation.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A cartographer and interior designer.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love hearing about what other people are into, what they get excited about. I also enjoy learning about how information systems, like the library catalog and databases. Being able to work around a bunch of books doesn’t hurt either.

If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library—with no worries about time or expense—what would you do?

I know there’s been a theme in answers to this question involving a library cat, which would only improve all of our lives. We could even get one that is hypoallergenic. I’d also like to see a pop-up library somewhere outside elsewhere on campus or a seed library.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I love spending time outdoors, riding my bike or walking around town. A good thrifting trip or checking out an art museum or gallery are also high on my priority list on my days off.

What’s the last thing you checked out? (Brief reviews are appreciated)

Women of Steel. This short documentary was made by a group of former female steelworkers in the Pittsburgh area in 1984. In it, they discuss their experience finding work in the steel mills and subsequently getting laid off due to mill closings. There is a theme song and it’s amazing.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

I’m interested in first-person narrative and autobiographies. I really like Revolution from Within by Gloria Steinem. This book of essays on the theme of self-esteem connects external, social revolution to an internal revolution of spirit and consciousness. Several of the essays include parables from the lives of individuals such as Wilma Mankiller and Julie Andrews as well as observation from Steinem’s own experiences. I don’t know if I think everyone should read it, but it has certainly been meaningful to me.

Some of our student workers update the popular reading display and are always looking for recommendations. If you could please list 5 or so of your favorite books that JKM has, that would be great!

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

How to Save Your Own Life: A Novel by Erica Jong

Art 21: Art in the 21st Century (DVD). Any season.

Anything by Octavia Butler.

Contesting Archives: Finding Women in the Sources ed. By Nupur Chaudhuri, Sherry J. Katz, and Mary Elizabeth Perry

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The hills! (Looking at them, not so much traveling on them.)

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city? (This includes restaurant recommendations, of course.)

Ride an incline, kayak on the rivers, eat pierogies, and visit an art museum. That’s four things.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself (2/3 would be great):

I moved from Arkansas to Pittsburgh about a year and a half ago.

I’m a Trekkie.

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